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Posted 8/26/14 (Tue)


Well, my fair run is over for the summer. Or should it be my Fair run. Anyway, I’m through with county fairs for another year.
Yesterday I attended the Slope County Fair at Amidon. Now if you’ve never been to Amidon, it is one of, if not the smallest, county seats in the nation. I’m not sure how many actual residents live there, maybe 20, but they are in the midst of a boom.
A new courthouse is under construction. A bar opened up. And, well, that’s about it. The biggest business in town is probably the rural fire department. They are a bunch of men and ladies that sleep with one eye and one ear open during a fire season. When fires can be started by a lightning strike, a bad bearing on a baler, a cigarette tossed out the window, a power line downed by wind, or numerous other things.
I am going to report that yesterday, the fire danger was at zero. So the fire fighters were busy serving Bloody Marys at the tent at the fairgrounds. And I heard tell that the spicy ones were as near fire as you could get.
The fire danger was down because our minute slice of the universe has been setting records for daily, weekly, and monthly rainfall. Records that have stood for well over a hundred years. And yesterday it was windy, cold, and rainy!
But the fair and rodeo went on. It was time to “cowboy up.” And “cowboy up” they did. 4-H kids were at their best. And that’s what a county fair is about. Dang I like those kids.
Two of my favorites came up to me while I was sitting in the only warm spot on the fairgrounds. The beer garden. Now mind you, it was early and they weren’t serving.
But this little cowboy and cowgirl came running up to me all excited. “We found a snake hole!”
Now, if you are four or five years old, a snake hole is a pretty exciting find. And as I was the closest observer, they naturally came to me for aid. And I knew a little bit about snakes. So I took them over and had them show me the snake hole. Now, it may have been a gopher hole, I’m not sure. But sometimes gopher holes can have snakes in them too. So you have to be very, very careful.
I got down on my hands and knees and tried to call that snake out. I had the kids try it. No snake. I got a straw and tried to suck that snake out of the hole. The little cowboy wasn’t going for that. No way. Neither was the cowgirl.
Then I had a great idea! Dig the hole out a little so you could stick your hand down in the hole, reach in and grab the snake and pull him out of the hole! So I took my pocketknife and went to widening the mouth of this snake den out. All the while telling these kids how we were going to get that snake.
When I got the hole big enough for my snaky crew to reach in they became a little apprehensive. And I suppose that is because they were smart country kids that knew better than to reach into a possible snake den with a bare hand.
So, I reached in. I let out a scream as that snake, or possible a bear, grabbed my arm and began pulling me in. I screamed in pain and pleaded with those kids to help me pull my arm out! Finally, as this fiend was consuming me, the little cowboy got a hold of my arm and saved me! He was my hero!
By then the rain was falling harder, the beer garden was opening, and I had other demons to conquer.
You want to see cowboys, farmers, ranchers, and friends “cowboy up?” Go to Amidon someday. But be careful! There’s a monster out there!